Paul Scholes: Manchester United midfielder retires for second time

 

Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has announced his retirement for a second time.

The 38-year-old first ended his career at the end of the 2010-11 season but returned to the side in January 2012 after admitting he missed playing.

Scholes signed a one-year deal last May and manager Sir Alex Ferguson expected this would be his final season.

"I am finally hanging up my boots for good," said Scholes, who is expected to play against Swansea on Sunday.

Paul Scholes factfile

  • Born: 16 November 1974, Salford
  • Man Utd debut: 21 September 1994, v Port Vale, League Cup (scores two goals)
  • Man Utd appearances (goals): 716 (155)
  • Man Utd honours: 11 Premier League titles; three FA Cups; two League Cups; five Community Shields; two Champions League titles
  • England caps (goals): 66 (14)

His final game at Old Trafford will also see Manchester United presented with this season's Premier League trophy - Scholes' 11th - and Ferguson's own Old Trafford farewell after announcing his retirement on Wednesday.

Scholes has made only a handful of appearances in 2013 since he suffered a knee injury in January. He last played in the Premier League in December and has chalked up 497 top-flight appearances.

He added: "Playing football is all I have ever wanted to do, and to have had such a long and successful career at Manchester United, under the greatest manager of all time, has been an honour."

Ferguson said: "Paul is a truly unbelievable player. He has always been fully committed to this club and it has been a real privilege to work with him for so many years.

"Paul will play at Old Trafford on Sunday against Swansea and will collect an unbelievable but well-deserved 11th Premier League medal."

Scholes' team-mate Rio Ferdinand tweeted:  "One of the best I played alongside also the most naturally gifted player too."

Last season a string of fine performances led to speculation that Scholes could come out of international retirement to perform at the 2012 European Championship but that option was not taken up by manager Roy Hodgson.

Archive: Football Forum - Paul Scholes interview

Scholes came through the club's youth system in 1992, at the same time as former players David Beckham and Gary Neville, and made his debut in 1994. Upon originally retiring, he spent time coaching the club's youth teams.

He made a strong start to this season, and became only the third player to reach 700 appearances for Manchester United, following in the footsteps of Sir Bobby Charlton and Ryan Giggs.

But a knee problem means he has been restricted to 19 appearances, with 10 of those coming from the bench.

The Salford-born player retired from international football in 2004, aged 29, and former England boss Fabio Capello attempted to bring him out of retirement before the 2010 World Cup.

France great Zinedine Zidane described Scholes as being "in a class of his own" while World Cup-winning Italian boss Marcelo Lippi said he was "one of the most important players for United under Sir Alex".